Sony has now dropped Ericsson from its name and has announced a range of products to go under the new, simplified name that likely is a more valuable brand name now than Sony Ericsson. Alongside some NFC related accessories and new smartphone, the company also announced an update to its LiveView device. The LiveView was (/is) a small watch-sized device that connected to an Android device over Bluetooth and supported small apps to control various aspects of the device. While originally intended for smartphones, the device worked with tablets as well, and was especially useful for 3G-enabled tablets where various messages and such can actually come in while the device itself is in a bag or something like that. I tried to order a LiveView a month or so back, but was met with a “no longer available” email after a week of waiting for it to ship.
The SmartWatch takes the LiveView a few steps further and focuses more on the watch aspect of it. The buttons under the screen are gone and replaced with a multitouch display like the iPod nano has. It has similar apps to the LiveView, meaning things like music control, Facebook and Twitter messages, call rejection and other features etc. It’s officially only compatible with a couple of Xperia phones, but it connects over normal Bluetooth and if the LiveView is any indication it will work fine with most Android devices. Personally, the most useful feature on the thing would be the music playback controls. I have used the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus for music on the go several times, and while 7 inches is smaller than 10, it still is a bit clunky to bring out of the pocket/bag to switch tracks.
No word on pricing or actual release date, but that multitouch display has me worried that this is going to be significantly more expensive than the rather reasonably price ~$80 LiveView.[Sony (Ericsson)]